Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Interview

by Kelsey Barritt, Writing Intern

Photo by Marcus Ingram/Getty Images
When a movie causes as much controversy as The Interview, it’s fair to expect a better-than-mediocre entertaining movie. Sadly, this is not the case. The movie that stirred enough uproar for a presidential statement, and then required a great amount of effort to even be shown is disappointingly average. The incessant hope for hope to see The Interview in your local theater, despite hacks and threats, is hardly worth it.

Starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, The Interview tells the story of Aaron Rappaport (Seth Rogen) and David Skylark (James Franco), a team of best friends working together on a late night talk show, “Skylark Tonight.” Produced by Aaron and hosted by David, the show typically focuses on meaningless celebrity gossip like wardrobe malfunctions and odd rumors. Just as they find the desire to report on more serious topics, they are given the opportunity to interview Kim Jong-un (Randall Park)--supreme evil dictator of North Korea. Before their trip, the CIA asks that they assassinate Kim Jong-un using a discrete poison transmitted through a handshake. The ups and downs of this operation are comical between the “master of manipulation” and David, who is all too easily manipulated.

Throughout the entire movie, the acting is the opposite of award-winning. Franco and Rogen, who have worked together for ages, should be more convincing by now. However, Park does pretty well conveying the master manipulator’s personality. Appealing to David’s flashy lifestyle, Kim Jong-un acts like a showy teenager, and it definitely gets laughs. He delivers great one-liners every now and then, and is actually pretty likeable. Other than that, audiences roll their eyes at Franco’s far-fetched ignorance, and snooze at Rogen’s stoic responsibility.

Ridiculously long fight scenes go on, and evoke laughs by juxtaposing North Korea’s intense, blind loyalty with two nervous, independent personalities. David and Aaron find enough fierceness to fight back--just as hard as their North Korean enemies and it’s sometimes hilarious. The balance between the CIA’s secrecy and a talk-show host’s desire for credit also offers some laugh-out-loud moments. David, hoping to write a tell-all book, often gets in the way of the CIA wanting to reserve all deniability of America having anything to do with the assassination.

Clearly, this is a far-fetched story. Two Americans, in the entertainment business, attempting to pull off a colossal assassination is imaginative to say the least. Unfortunately, audiences never forget this. The way it is told and the personalities involved make this story seem phony, not funny. The funny moments are strung along all too sparingly, and audiences get bored. The dialogue is unrealistic and sometimes annoying.

Maybe the hype caused the public to expect some kind of revolutionary, hilariously intelligent movie that would raise awareness while splitting sides. In reality, The Interview is nothing special. It's just a regular, goofy comedy that does not even pass mediocrity. And it's not worth whatever risks of going into theaters to see it. At least audiences now have the option of deciding for themselves.
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